Paranor was a major city, and the capital city of the country of Esroniet. It was the largest city in Esroniet, and held many shops, houses, farms, traders, taverns, and had an enormous population of over 500,000. Paranor was located at the southeastern corner of the island of Esroniet. The Old Wall of Paranor encircles the city, with the Palace of Paranor resting above the city on a steep sided plateau. Paranor had a long and troubling history starting in the Elder Wilds, but turned for the worse during the Oblivion Crisis when King Casamir Lirian was killed by his sister, Arielle Lirian, who then took the throne and turned Paranor into a dark and dangerous city.
Paranor's security and protection was provided by the Paranoran City Guard, or the PCG. They fought during many battles throughout the city's long history, and also fought alongside King Casamir Lirian during the disastorous Battle of Paranor. After King Casamir Lirian's death at the hands of his sister, Arielle Lirian, his sister took control of the city and declared herself Queen of Esroniet. The City Guard Captain, also known as the Captain of the Guard, served directly under the King and Queen and received his or her orders from them.
A series of natural defenses protected the manmade urban metropolis. The city had been built on a high plateau which ran back against a line of small, but treacherous cliffs. The cliffs bounded the plateau entirely on the south and partially on the west and east. While they were not nearly as formidable as the Dragon's Teeth or the Charnal Mountains of the far northern end of Esroniet, they were incredibly steep. That portion of the cliffs that faced north onto the plateau rose almost straight up, and no one had ever successfully scaled it. Thus, the city was well protected from the rear, and it had never been nescessary to construct any defenses to the south. The plateau on which the city was built was a little over three miles across at its widest point, dropping off sharply onto the plainlands which ran unbroken and open all the way north and west to the Mermidon River and east to the forests of Esroniet. The swift Mermidon actually formed the first line of defense against invasion, and few armies had ever gotten beyond that point to reach the plateau and the city walls. The enemy who did manage to cross the Mermidon onto the plainlands immediately found itself confronted by the steep wall of the plateau, which could be defended from above. The main route of access to this bluff was a huge iron and stone rampway, which was rigged to collapse by knocking out pins in the major supports.
But even if the enemy managed to reach the top of the plateau and thereby gain a foothold, the third defense waited, the defense that no army had ever broken through. Standing a scant two hundred yards from the edge of the plateau and ringing the entire city in a semicircle, the ends reaching back to the cliff sides protecting the southern approach, was the Old Wall. Constructed from great blocks of stone welded together with mortar, the surface had been smoothed down to make scaling by hand virtually impossible. It rose nearly one hundred feet in the air, massive, towering, impregnable. At the top of the wall, ramparts had been built for the men fighting within the city, with sections cut away to allow concealed bowmen to shoot down on the unprotected attackers. It was ancient in styling, crude and rough hewn, but it had repelled invaders for almost a thousand years. No enemy army had penetrated into the inner city since its construction following the First Race War.
Just within the great Old Wall, the Esroniet Legion was quartered in a series of long, sloping barracks interspersed by buildings used for storage of supplies and weapons. Approximately one third of this great fighting force was kept on duty at any given time, while the other two thirds remained at home with their families, pursuing their secondary occupations as laborers, craftsmen, or shopkeepers in the city. The barracks were equipped to house the entire army if the need should ever arise, as indeed it had already done on more than one occasion, but for most of the time they were only partially filled.
Commerce and Residential DistrictEdit
Set back from the barracks, supply housing, and parade grounds was a second wall of stone blocks separating the soldiers' quarters from the city proper.Within this second wall, lining the neat, winding city streets, were the homes and businesses of the urban popualtion of Paranor, all carefully constructed and meticulously cared for buildings. The city sprawled over most of the plateau's elevation, running from this second stone wall almost to the cliffs bordering the southern approach.
At this innermost point of the city, a low third wall had been built which marked the entrance to the government buildings and the royal palace of the King, complete with public forum and landscaped grounds. The tree shaded parks surrounding the palace provided the only sylvan setting on the otherwise open and sparse flatland of the plateau. The third wall had not been built for defensive purposes, but as a line of demarcation, signifying government owned property that had been reserved for the King's use and, in the case of the parks, for all the people.